Movies

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It’s crazy-serial-killer-in-the-woods time of year in New Hampshire.

You might not know it - and you perhaps should tell your kids if they’re at summer camp - but right now location scouts are scouring Granite State lakes and campgrounds for the picture perfect backdrop for movies, TV shows, and commercials...and we’re in the thick of horror film season.

We checked with Matt Newton of the NH Film and Television Office to tell us some things we didn’t know about how Hollywood finds its way to New Hampshire towns from Hollis to Hudson to Hanover.

W10002 via Flickr CC

 Anyone who has taken a personality test knows that they tend to be long, indepth, and even invasive. But today we discover how a group of researchers is testing levels of narcissism with one simple question. And, we’ll look into what an inflated sense of self means for society at large. Then, a philosopher and ethicist joins us to discuss the delicate balance between confidence and vanity in the age of the selfie. Plus, New Hampshire has a bigger role in cinema than you may have realized. We look at what roles put our state on the map.

BagoGames via Flickr CC

 In April 2010, WTF host Marc Maron sat down to speak with Robin Williams. Following the news of Williams’ death on August 11, Maron reflected back on that interview and shared some of his thoughts on a conversation that he considers life-changing. The interview is at times delicate, as Williams talks about his battle with addiction and depression, but it also raised a new perspective the comedian which people had rarely seen before.

8.3.14: The Death Show

Aug 3, 2014
Rob Shenk via Flickr CC

Ceased to be, eternal rest, journey’s end, six feet under. First, why do we have such a hard time facing the realities of death? We’ll begin with planning for it….and the importance of getting your wishes in order. Then, we find out what happens when someone dies mysteriously. Death by murder…or owl? And, we’ll talk to the Boston Globe’s obituary writer about the growing number of people writing selfie-obits. Today, Word of Mouth casts off the euphemisms and talks directly about death.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


ste3ve via Flickr CC

Melissa McCarthy is hailed as a “plus-sized sweetheart,” a champion of representation for women of all sizes. But is she really just a sellout? Today we look at the difference between her roles in movies and the issues she brings to the spotlight in interviews and profiles to see if she really is the progressive comedian everyone makes her out to be. Then, it’s time for some swashbuckling history. We get answers about what’s real and what are myths when it comes to one of our favorite villains – the pirate. Plus, what is the real cost and benefit of personal privacy in a world where everything is under surveillance?

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


woodleywonderworks via Flickr Creative Commons

It’s been 25 years since Larry David’s “show-about-nothing” debuted on NBC, but it lives on. Recently a critic made the argument that Seinfeld not only transformed the sitcom but paved the way for television’s anti-hero dramas. Plus, not even a month into summer, you may already be approaching capacity on grilled burgers and hot dogs. JM Hirsch, food editor for the Associated Press joins us to inject new ideas into the outdoor cooking season. And, a sneak peak of bands heading to western Massachusetts for this weekend’s Green River Festival.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


7.02.14: Amateur Sleuths, A Pet Owl and Oculus Rift

Jul 2, 2014
user ZaCky via Flickr Creative Commons

The National Institute of Justice estimates that up to 40,000 unidentified human remains have been collected and stored in evidence rooms across the country. Today, we talk to Deborah Halber about the growing number of internet sleuths trying to solve America’s coldest cases. Then, we look into the growing digital house key market. Plus, a heartwarming tale of a man and his owl. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Word Of Mouth Voted Best N.H. Radio Talk Show

Jun 26, 2014

We are so proud to have been voted Best New Hampshire Radio Talk Show by the readers of New Hampshire Magazine.

Six years after launching Word of Mouth, we still feel like upstarts and appreciate our listeners coming through. Thank you!  It's pleasure to bring you stories that spark curiosity and wonder about the world around us, and will continue spreading interesting information the best way we know how: through Word of Mouth.

And not only was Word of Mouth voted Best New Hampshire Radio Talk Show, but NHPR was voted Best FM Radio Station!

With all that in mind, here is a look back at some of your favorite Word of Mouth stories from the past year.

rachelkramerbussel.com via Flickr Creative Commons

When Ruth Graham published the Slate article “Against YA” there was an immediate push back. Here we’ve compiled some of our favorites for both sides of the debate.

Nay to YA

Against YA,” by Ruth Graham for Slate.

Here it is, the original article. It’s well-reasoned with a lot of good points, even if it’s getting billed with the uber-polarizing line, “you should be embarrassed to read YA.”  Many criticisms seem to skip straight to the part where Graham says adults shouldn't be reading YA, but there's more in here, so take a look.

What Is "Twee"?

Jun 9, 2014
Waponi via Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Marc Spitz about his new book Twee, in which he tries to give a comprehensive and explanatory history of “the gentle revolution.”

(You can hear that conversation here.)

The tenants of Twee are varied but they come down to this: there is darkness in this world that can only be overcome by cultivating passions that foster beauty and evoke a sense of innocence, goodness, and childhood.

In other words, when the world gets scary, just put a bird on it.

As with any cultural movement, the question of Twee can spark long debates (and trying to sort through “Twee vs. Not Twee” makes an awesome party game). To get you up to speed, here’s a handy list of things that are definitively Twee. As Twee defies categorization, we present this to you as a holistic experience, books mixing with music mixing with…hairstyles?

Mike Saechang via Flickr Creative Commons

From hand sanitizers to anti-bacterial soaps, we go to great lengths to keep our skin microbe-free, but is all that scrubbing necessary, or even healthy? Today a look at a new approach to cleanliness: bacteria-rich body sprays. Then, The Thing In The Spring is fast approaching, and we’ll speak with the founder and creative director of the festival about some of the acts hitting the stage in Peterborough. Plus, the film “Snowpiercer” stars two Academy Award winners and is opening the Los Angeles film festival this month. So why is it unlikely to come to a theatre near you?

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.


Taylor Quimby

If you subscribe to Netflix Instant you already know that its selection is vast, but finding something you really want to watch can still be a challenge.  There are dozens of new titles added every month, and although  many of them aren't exactly fresh, there's still plenty worth watching, even if it is for the second time. Here are a few of the best Netflix offerings for June, both new and old.

Orange is The New Black: Season 2

Netflix may not have a lot of new movies to offer this month, and I'll get to that in a bit, but they're making up for it by serving up the highly-anticipated second season of their original show, Orange is the New Black.  Available June 6th.

prongsie_babie14 via Flickr Creative Commons

No matter your opinion on them, grand musical numbers are notorious earworms. Here we’ve compiled some of the most famous, beloved, and recognizable movie musicals. Go on, sing along, everyone else will too.  

Top Hat (1935)

This was the first screenplay that was written specifically for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, though they would go on to do at least 6 more movie musicals together. The movie helped to save RKO from bankruptcy with $3 million in box office revenues and it was only beaten by Mutiny on the Bounty, which would go on to win the 1935 Best Picture.  

DMY/sandbox via Wikimedia Commons

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, there’s nothing quite as divisive as the movie musical. We go behind the glimmering façades and dance numbers to examine how movie musicals reflect American culture. Then, a conversation and in-studio performance from David Kontak, a New Hampshire musician who makes instruments out of found objects. Plus, Sean Hurley shares the story of a band that deliberately created the world's most endangered song.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.


Oscar-Winning Alumna Addresses UNH Class of 2014

May 18, 2014
Bronze Wildcat
intenteffect / Flickr Creative Commons

The University of New Hampshire celebrated commencement yesterday with an address from an Academy Award-winning alumna. 

Film's Greatest Elevator Scenes

Apr 7, 2014
courtesy of Jaded On, via Flickr Creative Commons

Andreas Bernard, author of Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator, calls the elevator a kind of "secular confessional".

The moment where people get stuck in an elevator together is always a moment of truth.  Let's say a couple who has hidden secrets gets stuck together - they confess it.  The room, which is so narrow and which is so close, is like a real confessional - a space where you're forced to say the truth.

That push towards truth is just one reason elevators have played so many pivotal roles in film and television. Whether cramped or quiet, large or small, slow or altogether stuck, elevators have served as makeshift matchmakers, provocateurs, and architectural comedians. Here are a a few of our favorite elevator scenes from film.

Beacon Radio via flickr Creative Commons

Word of Mouth is putting on the glam, rolling out the red carpet, and practicing our best paparazzi poses for the Academy Awards this Sunday. (Isn't everyone?) But first we're preparing with some film history – smear campaigns, artistic title sequences, and controversial kisses in films have been wowing fans and critics for decades. This Sunday marks the 86th Academy Awards, but not all movies are Oscar-worthy. Hence The RAZZIES, whose goal it is to recognize the worst of the worst. So whether you're preparing for the red carpet or a drive to the office, we've got a star-studded show worth that extra time in the makeup chair or pickup truck.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

25 Best Netflix Documentaries

Feb 4, 2014
davidgolbitz, matteo bittanti, and scott kinmartin via flickr creative commons

Ross Scarano, deputy editor at Complex, compiled a list of the 25 best documentaries on Netflix. He spoke with Virginia Prescott about his top picks.

Scroll down for the full list and to see what Ross has to say about each.

DanielSTL via Flickr Creative Commons

It’s about that time in January when you’ve just about had it with “THE BEST ____ OF 2013!” lists… a sure sign that it’s time for awards season. As far as the industry is concerned, the Oscar race begins with the Golden Globe Awards this Sunday night. The ceremony takes place right about the time thousands of members of the Academy of Motions Picture Arts and Sciences are filling out their Oscar ballots - which is exactly what makes the approximately 90 obscure journalists who are members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association so influential. They alone determine who goes home with a Golden Globe Award…and they are wined, dined and stroked by studios and stars accordingly.

We’re going to talk about predictions and snubs with a pair of our own influencers today…Amy Diaz, editor of the Hippo Press, and NH filmmaker Adam Jones, a voting member of the Director’s Guild of America.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Spoiler Alert!

If you have not seen “The Empire Strikes Back,” Darth Vader reveals a shocking secret to Luke Skywalker:

"Luke, I am your father."

"NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"

Now, think back, did that scene completely surprise you, or did someone tell you it was coming? Since the film came out in 1980, we’re pretty sure that we didn’t ruin it for you. Today, however, spoilers flourish on social media where there are no rules for revealing the surprising twists and plot devices in movies or T.V. shows. Chris Klimek has come up with some guidelines for reviewers, he’s a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Slate, The Washington Post, and The Village Voice, where we found his taxonomy and guidelines, “The Four Types of Spoilers and How Reviewers Should Handle Them.”

Larry Darling via flickr Creative Commons

The afternoons are getting darker, the trees are bare, and the furnace is snapping on; it’s November in New England. A time when we shift indoors and enjoy some quiet before the holidays are upon us. It’s also a great time for movies, when the studios trot out their Oscar contenders and the crush of holiday blockbusters have yet to arrive with guns blaring and special effects thrusting. 

Amy Diaz is editor and film critic for The Hippo, she and film consultant and commentator, Garen Daly are with us to talk movies. Specifically what you see between now and Thanksgiving.

For anyone who’s ever driven by a crumbling old New Hampshire barn and wondered what could be in there, here’s one answer…a stack of dusty old film reels that turned out to be the only surviving reel from a long lost 1911 film. The movie, called Their First Misunderstanding , was written by and stars Mary Pickford, one of the most beloved actresses of the  silent film era. We spoke with Professor Emeritus of Film Studies at Keene State College Dr. Larry Benaquist about the discovery of this rare, important and now celebrated film.

via bethlehemcolonialtheatre.org

The Colonial Theatre in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, is among the oldest continually running movie theatres in the country, and is currently the only venue for showing independent movies in northern New Hampshire. Now, nearly 100 years after opening its doors, The Colonial may have to stop showing films. Like many indie theaters across the country, The Colonial has to convert to the digital format adopted by the film industry if it wants to show new releases. The theatre recently launched a $10,000 Kickstarter campaign to help pay for and install digital projection equipment. Stephen Dignazio is executive director of The Colonial Theatre and joins us to discuss the campaign.

amysimmer via Flickr Creative Commons

The huge breakthrough in math that came from the brain of a relative unknown in mathematics got us thinking about the way math genius has been portrayed in pop culture.

It didn't take a genius to come up with this prime number...our top five moments in math...in movies.

5. Little Man Tate upstages the "mathemagician," proving that a child prodigy can, sadly, be over the genius hill.

Razzies.com

On Sunday, tens of millions of people worldwide will watch the dazzling gowns, jewels, and strained smiles on display at the eighty-fifth annual Academy Awards.  On Saturday, a much, much, much smaller audience will watch the Razzies!  For the 33rd year, film buffs and industry professionals gather to recognize the biggest flops, lamest performances, and most tired screenplays of the year.  It’s a dubious honor, but still, some, uh, winners do show up at the Razzies to accept their dis-honor...like Halle Berry for her worst-actress worthy performance in 2004's Catwoman (*note: the video contains some expletives).

lincolnblues via Flickr Creative Commons

Grab your ballots, Oscar weekend is coming up. This year's category for best actress includes a then-six-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis in "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and eighty-six-year-old "Amour" actress, Emmanuelle Riva. Neither is considered a front-runner, but could that save their careers? It might, if you believe in...THE OSCAR CURSE.

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Word of Mouth's weekly show...the best of the best of Word of Mouth.

Part 1:

A new study shows that the act of holding a gun changes perception, as participants saw guns that weren't actually there. And Clay Wirestone wraps up the latest in video game trends, and looks forward to what's coming in 2013

Part 2:

TED cracks down on pseudoscience at local spinoff TEDX conferences. And film critic Garen Daley tells us what we can expect on the big screen in 2013

Part 3:

Brett Jordan via Flickr Creative Commons

2012 was a banner year for big-screen comic book adaptations – Marvel’s The Avengers, was the top grossing film of the year, followed by the latest in the Batman franchise, The Dark Knight Rises.

Is Die Hard A Christmas Movie?

Dec 15, 2012

What doesn't say Christmas like a terrorist plot foiled by Bruce Willis? - Author Kevin Flynn, Die Hard die-hard

To many, any best-of action film list would ring hollow with the exclusion of Die Hard - but each year, as the holiday season approaches, it begins to fly under a different flag:  an admittedly less warm, less traditional Christmas classic.

Word of Mouth 12.15.2012

Dec 14, 2012
Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

An anthropologist embeds herself with hackers. Santa opens shop in Hooksett. A Hobbit scholar explains why Tolkien fascinates. Women comedians find success on through podcasts. And the very interesting history...of boredom.

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